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Ruud Extends Swiss Streak As Fritz Begins Bid For 1st Clay Title In Geneva

  • Posted: May 24, 2023

Ruud Extends Swiss Streak As Fritz Begins Bid For 1st Clay Title In Geneva

Dimitrov also advances at clay-court ATP 250

The Swiss clay continues to be a happy hunting ground for Casper Ruud.

The World No. 4 kicked off his Gonet Geneva Open campaign in style on Wednesday with a 6-3, 7-5 second-round triumph against J.J. Wolf. An early break in the first set and a late break in the second were enough to set the 2021 and 2022 champion on the way to an 81-minute victory.

“I feel great. It’s a great win for me,” said Ruud in his on-court interview. “J.J. is a very aggressive, tough player to play against, a very tough opponent. I started the match great, got a break early, and also won in the end luckily… Happy to be here again tomorrow. It’s great to be back in Geneva and always great to play in front of the fans here again.”

With his win, Ruud improved to 9-0 in Geneva, and 17-0 in Swiss ATP Tour clay events. The Norwegian triumphed in Gstaad as well as Geneva in 2021 and 2022.

“The club is beautiful, the fans are great,” said Ruud, when asked about why he so often showcases his best tennis in Geneva. “Switzerland is a country with a lot of tennis history now, with Roger, and Stan still playing. So it’s an incredible country to be in, I really like it. Good food, good people, a lot of beautiful views so there’s a lot of things to like about Geneva and it’s always a great feeling being here.”

Ruud will take on Nicolas Jarry next as he bids for his second tour-level title of the season (Estoril). Jarry advanced to the quarter-finals after his opponent Tallon Griekspoor was forced to withdraw due to a right ankle injury.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Taylor Fritz shook off a tricky start with a powerful finish en route to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win against Marcos Giron in his opening match at the clay-court ATP 250.

Fritz prevailed in a hard-fought contest by delivering a dominant serving performance in the deciding set against his No. 74-ranked countryman. The second seed dropped just two points behind his delivery in the third set to claim victory in a match during which he also converted five of the 13 break points he earned.

The 25-year-old Fritz is now 8-1 against fellow Americans for the 2023 season. The Delray Beach champion is chasing his maiden ATP Tour title on clay on event debut this week in Geneva, where he will meet Ilya Ivashka in the quarter.finals.

Ivashka earlier came through a three-set battle of his own. The 29-year-old downed eighth seed Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year.

Grigor Dimitrov enjoyed a more straightforward path to the last eight. The fourth seed brushed past Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-4 to reach his first tour-level quarter-final on clay this year. Dimitrov, who also reached the quarter-finals in Geneva in 2021, next plays Christopher O’Connell. The Australian led Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-0, 3-0 when the Spaniard retired from the pair’s second-round clash.

“Honestly, it was a good day,” said Dimitrov. “I think I had a very good start to the match, especially the first four games. I was really on point, reading the game well, serving well, which helped a lot. I think today was also very tough conditions, all in all. It was windy, kind of swirly, a little bit cold… I felt all I had to do was be very composed, look after the points and simply follow [my] game plan.”

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Teenagers Shang, Medjedovic Advance In Roland Garros Qualifying

  • Posted: May 24, 2023

Teenagers Shang, Medjedovic Advance In Roland Garros Qualifying

Top two seeds Karatsev, Hanfmann reach final round

Shang Juncheng made history earlier this season when he was one of three Chinese men who competed in the main draw of the Australian Open. Now the 18-year-old is attempting to qualify for the Roland Garros main draw in hopes of once again joining his countrymen Wu Yibing and Zhang Zhizhen.

World No. 200 Shang is one win away from the main draw in Paris after defeating Fabian Marozsan 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of qualifying. The lefty saved all six break points he faced Wednesday to down the Hungarian, who upset Carlos Alcaraz last week in Rome at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Shang was not the only teenager who advanced Wednesday. The 19-year-old Serbian Hamad Medjedovic ousted fourth seed Juan Manuel Cerundolo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Medjedovic has claimed two ATP Challenger Tour titles this season and is ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race. Shang, who reached the second round at Melbourne Park after coming through qualifying, is thirty-fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race.

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Roland Garros 2023: Draws, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

Second seed Yannick Hanfmann maintained his strong clay-court form, overcoming Zdenek Kolar 6-2, 6-4. The German, who is at a career-high No. 64 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, won 69 per cent of his second-serve points compared to Kolar’s 43 per cent. The 31-year-old will next meet Elias Ymer, who ousted Marc Polmans 7-5, 6-3.

Hanfmann is aiming to play in the Roland Garros main draw for the first time since 2019. That year, the German advanced through qualifying before losing to Rafael Nadal in the opening round.

In other qualifying action, home favourite and former World No. 10 Lucas Pouille rallied to beat Chun-Hsin Tseng 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 and Chilean Alejandro Tabilo survived third seed Borna Gojo 7-6(2), 7-6(4).

Top seed Aslan Karatsev, who reached the semi-finals at the Mutua Madrid Open, moved past Nick Hardt 7-5, 6-3.

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Halle To Welcome Back 10-Time Champion Federer On 'Roger Federer Day'

  • Posted: May 24, 2023

Halle To Welcome Back 10-Time Champion Federer On ‘Roger Federer Day’

Terra Wortmann Open runs from 19-25 June

The ATP 500 event in Halle, Germany will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year and 20-time major champion Roger Federer will be in attendance as guest of honour.
The Terra Wortmann Open announced that Wednesday, 21 June, will be ‘Roger Federer Day’, a celebration for the 10-time Halle champion who retired last year.

“I’m looking forward to returning to one of my absolute favourite tournaments on the
ATP Tour,” Federer said in a press release. “It’s an honour to come and help the tournament celebrate this important anniversary in Halle.”

The grass-court event, which runs from 19-25 June, will honour the Swiss on Centre Court, raise support for the Roger Federer Foundation, and host various activities on ‘Roger Federer Day’.

“The rise of our tournament to world-class level is closely associated with Roger,” said tournament director Ralf Weber. “He has acted as an outstanding ambassador for us over all this time and produced headlines around the globe.”

Federer first collected the Halle title in 2003 and triumphed again the following three years. The 103-time tour-level titlist boasted a 69-8 career record at the Terra Wortmann Open and last won in Halle in 2019.

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Defending Champ Norrie Eases Past Goffin In Lyon

  • Posted: May 24, 2023

Defending Champ Norrie Eases Past Goffin In Lyon

Paul battles past home favourite Barrere

Cameron Norrie celebrating victory at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon has become a familiar scene in recent years.

On Wednesday, the World No. 14 sealed his record-extending 12th match win at the clay-court ATP 250 by defeating David Goffin 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. The 2021 finalist and 2022 champion saved five of six break points he faced en route to an 89-minute triumph, his 50th tour-level clay victory.

“It’s such a special tournament for me, winning my first clay 250 this time last year, and I really like this tournament, “said Norrie in his on-court interview. “It’s pretty unique, in a cycling velodrome in the middle of a park, and it’s always the start of summer for me. I feel really good here… It’s good to be back and good to get a straight-sets win today.”

With his win, Norrie improved to 26-9 for the season. After early exits in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, the 27-year-old is hoping to build on his fourth-round run in Rome last week as he chases his second ATP Tour title of the year.

“I was happy, I felt like I could have moved a little bit better, but it’s always a few nerves in the first match,” said Norrie of his display against Goffin. “I was able to control those in the first set, and I was down an early break in the second and I was able to fight back.”

Norrie’s next opponent in Lyon will be Sebastian Baez. The sixth-seeded Argentine earlier rallied to a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 second-round victory against his countryman Pedro Cachin to reach his 10th tour-level quarter-final.

Third seed Tommy Paul also claimed a three-set triumph on Wednesday. Upon resuming his second-round clash with home favourite Gregoire Barrere, which stood at 2-2 in the third set overnight, the American claimed a 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3 victory in which he saved 11 of 13 break points he faced. He will next take on his fellow American Brandon Nakashima.

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Netflix Releases Break Point Season 1, Part 2 First Look & Premiere Date

  • Posted: May 24, 2023

Netflix Releases Break Point Season 1, Part 2 First Look & Premiere Date

Next batch of episodes to be released 21 June

The bigger the tournament, the higher the stakes.

Netflix released its first look at Break Point Season 1, Part 2 on Wednesday and revealed that the next batch of episodes will premiere on 21 June.

The hit tennis documentary series debuted in January with five episodes, which followed the new generation trying to claim the spotlight with some of tennis’ legends reaching the twilight of their careers.

That theme comes to the forefront in this first look, which teases a look at Serena Williams’ 2022 US Open run. The clip also demonstrates the aura of competing at Flushing Meadows, with celebrities and fans everywhere you look.

“The energy and the amount of people, you can feel the noise and that’s different,” Paul Annacone said. “You better be able to manage that because even if you think it’s not going to grab you, I promise you it will.”

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Break Point: Our Takeaways From Netflix’s Tennis Series Drop

The ATP and WTA recently released a Break Point Season 1, Part 1 reunion in which Felix Auger-Aliassime, Paula Badosa, Matteo Berrettini, Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud and Maria Sakkari gathered to discuss what happened in the series’ first five episodes. 

ATP players featured in the first season of Break Point are Auger-Aliassime, Berrettini, Fritz, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios, Ruud, Frances Tiafoe and Stefanos Tsitsipas. WTA players featured are Badosa, Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Sakkari, Sloane Stephens, Iga Swiatek and Ajla Tomljanovic.

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